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Tales of Symphonia HD review how has this Tale aged.

Updated on January 24, 2016

my video review from youtube

The gamecube versions box

(note this is a review of the PS3 version though)
(note this is a review of the PS3 version though)

Note: all the screen shots and videos were captured by me playing the game using a capture device.

When Tales of Zestiria came out on steam Bandai Namco (or is it Namco Bandai I can’t keep up) offer Tales of Symphonia HD for free on the PC. I went and purchase it on the PC just so I can get it, but it’s not the only copy of the game I own, I have the original game cube version, and I also have the PS3 HD version which I just played through and what I am about to review in this hub and what I did a video review on YouTube a few weeks prior to writing this hub.

character skit

the characters will banter and play off each other through some humorous skits.
the characters will banter and play off each other through some humorous skits.


Since this is an RPG and I have a lot to say about the story I did a separate story video which I will post down below. But for those who just want a quick summary of it well it basically follows Lloyd Irving and his rag tag crew has they help his friend Collete become the chosen one and save his world of Sylvarant. Along the way they take every opportunity to rip off FFX, and then half way through the game they decide they should also rip off Final Fantasy V has well. Still I like the games characters and Symphonia does have its own crazy sense of humor there are plenty of laughs has we see the characters rag on each other, especially with the skits that happen when you’re on the road in the over world. And like I said before it’s these skits that make the story in the Tales game special it really opens up the characters in ways not seen in other JRPGs and it makes the rip off of a plot a little more bearable.

I take a more in depth look at the story


The original game cube version had some rough lines on the character’s, it made them look more manga style, since this is a port based off of the Japanese only PS2 the manga lines are gone and the character’s now look a bit deformed because of it. Still the cel shaded graphics still have their charm and the HD upgrade is nice, over all the games look still hold up over time, even if the odd character designs too look a little freaky from time to time.

the game cube version had manga line

The HD version does not


The voice acting is top notch for the day and it’s still good, and the music is a joy to listen too. The PS3 HD version also know has the Japanese voice track for those major Otakus who only take their anime and JRPG’s in their native language. I prefer the English vocals but one area where the Japanese track trumps the English dub is the Japanese track has the skits fully voice while the English ones there silent. It just makes the skits in symphonia seem lacking, especially because in other Tales game there fully voice in other English language. Also because of the Japanese sound track there are subtitles over the end battle sequences.

And yes Lloyd is voiced by the same guy who did Robin in Teen Titans, which was a big thing until Teen Titians Go comes out.


Alright Tales of Symphonia is a JRPG from the early ought’s and it kind of fits into that growing period between the PS1 and where JRPG’s are now. I do believe this is the first Tales game that offers the battle system most Tales fans are accustomed to know which this really action almost brawler battle system. It’s this battle system that makes the Tales series so much fun. The action in these battle are fast pace, the AI is pretty good although lacking compare too Tales games now days the AI can’t use items by itself which is actually a mixed blessings but it’s still pretty fun. Basic combat works like this one button allows normal attacks doing normal attacks are weak but they don’t cost TP, in fact you gain one TP point for making contact with an enemy. And then pressing a direction and the Circle button will allow you to cast an art which does take TP away but the moves are way stronger. The more you use arts the more arts you unlock and each character is different in the way they move and use arts. If you’re someone who likes to experiment there is plenty to find here. However that said I just stick to Lloyd I like the idea he plays like a person in normal action game no wait times for most of his moves, and on top of that you’re going to have him throughout 99% of the game so why not use him

Top notch battle system

While the combat is top notch Tales of Symphonia unfortunately shows its age when it comes to customization. The standard weapons and level determines your stats with very little customization. The only place where you can truly customize your character is with EX skill from gems you pick up. Sometimes you will gain a compound EX skill but compare to the way you can level up and customize your character in Tales of Xillia going back to Symphonia seems lacking.

The game does have novelty and that’s an over world, yeah remember these Symphonia still had one while others were phasing them out. I kind of find it charming and there’s no random battles you can see your enemies coming, but you can’t always outrun them. That said enemies can move faster than Lloyd on foot. Two options if you want to avoid combat find these little rocks that allow you to ride Lloyd’s dog around the map and avoid enemies. Or once you have the Rieards that you get half way through the game fly. Yeah this game also has air ships man do I just miss flying around the world and goofing off, something missing in modern day RPG’s. Also there is a ton of side quest and to do everything will take multiple plays through. And Symphonia like other Tales games has an unique new game+ mode. Each time you win a battle you’re graded on your performance. You can use these grade points to purchase the ability to carry over stats, items, and abilities on to a new play through. Select what you want to keep unlocking everything.

final recommendation.

Over all I give Symphonia 4 out of 5. It’s story which I will get into in my story analysis isn’t the best story I have ever seen in a JRPG, in fact it rips off two final fantasy and one of its biggest plot twists can be seen coming from miles away. But its combat system is fun, there are tons of things to do, there is some old school novelty in it, and in the end I just really enjoy the game.

I’ll write my review on the sequel in a little bit but let’s just say it’s not nearly has good. In fact it’s god awful at least in the story department.


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    • tommylop profile image

      Tommy 2 years ago from Colorado.

      If you have a PS3 get into xillia then symphonia, Xbox has vesperia, and I recommend waiting for symphonia over zestria.

    • Morgue profile image

      Morgue 2 years ago from Tennesee

      Never really got into the series.